Day 14 live updates: FBI agent testifies, Murdaugh jurors hear testimony about car activity


Alex Murdaugh Coverage

The Murdaugh family saga has dominated the news after another shooting, a resignation and criminal accusations — with Alex Murdaugh at the center of it all. Here are the latest updates on Alex Murdaugh.

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Alex Murdaugh, a once prominent Hampton-based attorney from a well-known politically-connected family, is on trial in the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul.

Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty. He faces life in prison without parole if found guilty. The trial started Jan. 23 with jury selection, opening arguments and the initial round of witness testimony. For now, the trial is expected to stretch at least another week, through Feb. 17.

9:30 a.m. — Jurors hear testimony about Murdaugh’s car activity

FBI automotive forensics expert Dwight Falkofske is back on the stand Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, just before court broke for the day, Falkofske shared a timeline of activity recovered from Alex Murdaugh’s car the night of June 7, 2021:

  • 9:06:49 p.m. — Data shows the vehicle turned on and is taken out of park
  • 9:22:45 p.m. — The car is put into park. It was out of park for about 16 minutes
  • 9:44:54 p.m. — Murdaugh’s car taken out of park
  • 10:00:30 p.m. — Car put in park again
  • 10:01:17 p.m. — Car is taken out of park
  • 10:01:29 p.m. — Car is parked again
  • 10:01:30 p.m. — Car is out of park
  • 10:01:43 p.m. — The vehicle is parked again before shutting down
  • 10:04:49 p.m. — Vehicle is back on, taken out of park
  • 10:05:55 p.m. — The car is parked once more
  • 10:06:18 p.m. — Murdaugh calls 911 with Bluetooth connected to his car
  • 10:13:39 p.m. — The car is taken out of park. Investigators did not find a message indicating it was parked again. Falkofske said occasionally, the system will miss such messages.

Falkofske said he couldn’t determine if the car was moving when it was taken out of park.

The data only records whether the vehicle was in park or not.

Prosecutors hinted the timestamps at 9:06 p.m. and 9:22 p.m. correspond to Murdaugh leaving the family’s rural estate, called Moselle, to visit his mother on the night of the murders, and timestamps from 9:44 p.m. to 10 p.m. indicate his return trip.

After Murdaugh called 911 at 10:06 p.m. on June 7, 2021, he told investigators he returned to Moselle’s main house to grab a shotgun, which he was later seen carrying in body camera footage.

Mushelle Smith, the caretaker for Murdaugh’s mother, said she remembered Murdaugh visiting his mother for around 20 minutes that night, which prosecutors suggested is backed up by the park and out of park timestamps. She testified Monday that several days later, Murdaugh approached her at his mother’s house, where family had gathered after Murdaugh’s father, Randolph, died, testifying Murdaugh told her unprompted he’d been at the house for 30 or 40 minutes that night.

Dwight Falkofske, FBI electronics engineer, takes the witness oath in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro on Day 13 of Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool Andrew J. Whitaker

Blake is the Hilton Head Island reporter for the Island Packet. A Tulsa, Oklahoma native, Blake has written for his hometown Tulsa World, as well as the Charlotte Observer. He graduated in May 2022 from the University of Oklahoma with a journalism degree.

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